35 3 Twinning DePaul University and Kenyan Episcop

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Information about 35 3 Twinning DePaul University and Kenyan Episcop

Published on January 16, 2008

Author: Viviana

Source: authorstream.com

“Love Life, Talk, and Live” A Twinning Partnership between DePaul University, Chicago and Kenyan Episcopal Conference-Catholic Secretariat, Nairobi:  “Love Life, Talk, and Live” A Twinning Partnership between DePaul University, Chicago and Kenyan Episcopal Conference-Catholic Secretariat, Nairobi Presented by: Alexandra Murphy, Ph.D. Department of Communication Director, Community Service Studies DePaul University Background on Kenya and HIV:  Background on Kenya and HIV Kenya has been among the most critically impacted African countries with regard to HIV infection. Approximately 1.25 million adults and over 100,000 children in Kenya alone are believed to be living with HIV. National trends indicate that the annual number of AIDS deaths continues to rise steeply and has doubled over the past six years to about 150,000 deaths per year. These rates, though overwhelming, are nevertheless severely underestimated, particularly given that only 14% of Kenyan adults are aware of their HIV status. The majority of new infections in Kenya occur among youth and young adults, especially young women aged 15–24 and young men under the age of 30 (UNAIDS, 2005) HIV Prevention for Youth:  HIV Prevention for Youth HIV prevention should begin early before patterns of risky behavior become established. Kenya’s Free Primary Education Policy, which was implemented in January 2003, opened up opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized children who had never attended school to now attend school. These primary schools provide an opportunity to reach large numbers of children who may be at risk for HIV infection. In Kenya, large number of both private and public schools are sponsored by the Catholic Church. Thus, Catholic-sponsored primary schools are an ideal venue for reaching large numbers of children with HIV prevention messages and skills. The Partnership:  The Partnership Who is DePaul? Catholic, Vincentian, Urban Largest Catholic University (23,000 students) Located in Chicago, IL Recent University Reviews rank DePaul as community and diversity focused Who is KEC-CS? The Catholic Secretariat is administrative arm of Kenyan Episcopal Conference. Oversees 15 Commissions including Health and Education to administer programs hospitals and educational institutions DePaul Executive Team Gary Harper, Ph.D., MPH Alexandra Murphy, Ph.D. Leah Neubauer, BA KEC-CS Executive Team Augusta Muthigani, MA Magnus Bruening, MA Julius Ruto, BA Abstinence and Behavior Change for Youth:  Abstinence and Behavior Change for Youth The program provides standard prevention information and activities related to HIV/AIDS that are outlined in the Republic of Kenya Ministry of Education Science & Technology’s National AIDS Education Syllabus for Schools and Colleges. The current program incorporates the elements recommended by leading academic literature and is focused on primary school children ages 10-13. In order to make the program more relevant to the children served in Catholic-sponsored primary schools, it also explores Christian Values and African Values that support the prevention of HIV. The intervention seeks to give accurate information to youth about HIV/AIDS, thereby encouraging them to refrain from high risk activities. Even more importantly, the program seeks to get young people to break the cultural taboo and talk about HIV/AIDS. “Love Life, Talk and Live!”:  “Love Life, Talk and Live!” Two main objectives: School-Based Curriculum: To increase capacity of KEC to support teachers in the implementation of the school-based curriculum on abstinence and behavior change 2. Mass Media Messages: To increase capacity of KEC-CS in the development and implementation of youth-focused radio messages and newspaper articles related to abstinence and behavioral change Some of the initial work we did was to link these two components together with a “hook”. We brainstormed with KEC-CS and came up with a list of possibilities. The students chose the winner: “Love Life, Talk, and Live!” Objective 1: School-Based Curriculum:  Objective 1: School-Based Curriculum Targets 10-13 year olds in Catholic schools. 26 dioceses in Kenya. 46,000 students targeted for training. Covers six key content areas: abstinence and behavior change, self-awareness relationships sexuality substance use HIV/AIDS Involves Teachers, Parents, and Community Leaders:  Involves Teachers, Parents, and Community Leaders Teams of teachers from each school are trained in the curriculum. 800-1000 teachers targeted for training Note: Also encourages open conversations about HIV/AIDS beyond the target audience, as teachers, parents, and community leaders who participate in intervention training workshops clarify their own understanding of HIV/AIDS and start conversations in their own relationships and communities. Involves Students:  Involves Students Curriculum is highly participative Encourages students to interact, to create plays, poetry, posters, etc. to encourage talk about HIV/AIDS DePaul’s Role with School Curriculum:  DePaul’s Role with School Curriculum Provided workshops on youth behavior change, HIV, and M&E Revised the current curriculum, provided more developed “Teaching Guide”. Includes posters, brochure, activities, etc. Created an M&E plan, including an ABY monitoring form, Community Change form, and Family Change form, and a Site Visit form. Set up an SPSS data set and coordinated a relationship with Tangaza College for students to analyze KEC-CS data. Brochure created as teaching resource:  Brochure created as teaching resource Brochure content developed in collaboration with U.S. and Kenyan partners (still being finalized)—covers main sections of the curriculum. Students were invited to review for feedback Cartoons designed by local, Kenyan artist in consultation with students. Brochure is a critical resource for schools—may be only physical “take-away” students will have. Posters to be Created as Teaching Resource:  Posters to be Created as Teaching Resource Posters are under development to complement the program. One will cover major information in the brochure related to abstinence. Another, will be an interactive process that youth and teachers will create together. It will have 50 lines and the youth will come up with ways to remain abstinent or things to do in order to be abstinent. There will also be a contest run among schools to submit their ideas on remaining abstinent. A poster will be created from the winning ideas and KEC-CS will give recognition for each winning school at the bottom of the poster. Objective 2: Mass Media Messages:  Objective 2: Mass Media Messages Messages are being aired on Radio Waumini, a Catholic radio station located in Nairobi, Kenya that also plays to surrounding communities. Approximately 500,000 listeners in target audience Messages are directly connected to the students and the curriculum. Students are asked what kinds of prevention messages they find persuasive Youth are recorded at schools talking about the issues and voices, poetry, skits, etc. are used in the radio messages. DePaul’s Role in Mass Media Messages:  DePaul’s Role in Mass Media Messages Provided workshops on communication theories, PSA production, creating youth friendly messages, using student involvement in PSA production. Provided sample PSAs Created listenership survey and evaluation plan Connected the mass media messaging with the school curriculum with the hook, “Love Life, Talk, and Live” New Initiative: Peer-to-Peer “Talking” Groups:  New Initiative: Peer-to-Peer “Talking” Groups “Talking groups” at the schools will be created to increase the peer to peer interaction on curriculum topics. Group conversations will emphasize lessons in the curriculum and radio messages, increase face-to-face interactions on the issues, and provide an avenue for social networking. All of these are important to long-term behavioral change with health communication campaigns. Strengths:  Strengths Multidisciplinary team. Drawing from psychology, communication, media studies, education, and health professionals. Executive team of three, core team of five additional people, consultant list of over 30 people. Cultural exchanges. The Executive Team has been able to conduct on-site visits to observe and interview teachers and students about the curriculum. The KEC-CS group will visit Chicago for the first time in October. Institutional Alignment and Support. The work with KEC-CS directly aligns with the mission of DePaul University. Our work has benefited from connections made by others at the University through the newly developed Institute of East African Collaboration. The University President recently visited Kenya to learn about this work and other projects in Kenya. Camaraderie. The key members of the partnership have developed a wonderful, collaborative, exciting, and fun relationship. Much of this had been due to the cultural exchanges. This has allowed us to trust and respect each other and has made us all want to work hard to keep the partnership on track. Challenges:  Challenges Communication. Much happens during our face-to-face cultural exchanges. Difficult in between to stay in contact. Email and telephone not always reliable. Geography. Due to time and expense, the whole core team has not been able to participate in the cultural exchanges. Also difficult to travel within Kenyan for site visits Multiple Stakeholders. Many other parties are related to the project. Sometimes difficult to know roles and responsibilities when others are involved. Twinning Center helps facilitate these relationships with other in-country stakeholders and government groups. Time. This work is volunteer work. It takes a lot of time and energy. Although we are supported by DePaul, our full-time jobs and commitments don’t stop. That said, the work has been incredibly rewarding and more and more DePaul employees are asking to join in. Conclusion:  Conclusion In areas like Kenya where HIV/AIDS is prevalent, individuals may know—or think they know—the facts. They do not, however, talk about AIDS. More than just disseminating facts to encourage youth to change high-risk behaviors, this intervention facilitates interpersonal communication at group and community levels, breaking the silence surrounding HIV/AIDS, and allowing people to clarify their knowledge of HIV/AIDS and what it means in their communities. The partnership has been incredibly successful and rewarding. It has also been very work and time intensive. It take coordination and support at multiple levels to make it work. It also requires strong administrative support to fulfill requirements of both the work and the funding agency. This partnership also allows an opportunity to utilize resources and expertise in HIV/AIDS prevention and communication from DePaul University in conjunction with KEC-CS extensive knowledge of the country and community. “Having a good discussion is like having riches” -Kenyan Proverb

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